Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)

Sara's Tiny Kitchen
by Sara's Tiny Kitchen
3 Servings
20 min

All the best parts of your favorite Mexican street food (Elote) are made simple in this quick and easy Esquites corn salad that doesn’t even require corn on the cob.

Esquites are one of my all-time favorite side dishes. I love corn in basically any form, and my diet it basically 93% corn on the cob during the entire month of August, but sometimes you just want something with a little more zip and pep to it. Enter Esquites.

What is Esquites?

Esquites is basically on off-the-cob form of the street food Elote, which is corn covered in mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, and cheese. Like I mentioned, esquites takes the corn off of the cob, and allows you to eat the dish without dripping lime juice down your chin. So if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t like to eat messily in front of people, esquites is the dish for you.

Different states in Mexico have vastly different takes on elote and esquites. Some areas make them with bacon and mushrooms. Some areas boil the corn instead of frying, and some places they’re a far sweeter dish than what I’m presenting.

When I make it, I choose to go with a “standard” version.

Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Recipe details
  • 3  Servings
  • Prep time: 5 Minutes Cook time: 15 Minutes Total time: 20 min
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Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil (canola, grapeseed)
  • 3 cups frozen yellow corn
  • 1 jalapeno, diced and seeded 
  • 3 green onions, thinly sliced (separate white and light green parts from dark green parts)
  • 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup crumbled cotija cheese (or Feta)
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped fine
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder
To Make Esquites (Mexican Street Corn Salad)
Heat oil over medium-high in a large non-stick skillet and add the corn, jalapeno, and white and light green parts of the green onions. Let cook without moving for 3-4 minutes, then toss, and let cook for anther 3-4 minutes without moving.  
Continue this process until the corn is deeply charred, about 12-15 minutes total. Remove from the heat and transfer to a medium bowl.
Add the mayonnaise, cheese, lime juice, cilantro and salt and pepper and stir to combine.
Garnish with dark green parts of scallions, and chili powder.
Dish is good hot or cold.
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